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Hoboken library’s ‘banned book’ event still happening this weekend despite controversy

The library will kick off the event with a Drag Queen Story Hour that will feature Harmonica Sunbeam.

Ali Reid and Lanette Espy

Jun 15, 2023, 12:32 PM

Updated 373 days ago

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Hoboken Public Library’s “banned books read-a-thon” event is still set to happen this weekend even though it received backlash on social media.
Saturday's event at Church Square Park will include different people reading books that have been banned in certain libraries across the region.
A number of the banned books will be read, and adults will be able to win books through a raffle after the event. It’s noted that a few of the adult books in the raffle teach about gay sex, depict sex scenes, and show pornographic cartoon illustrations.
The library will kick off the event with a Drag Queen Story Hour that will feature Harmonica Sunbeam. They say Harmonica will read stories and sing several songs.
Hoboken Public Library board of trustees member Jerome Abernathy says, "certainly there are places in the country, there are other states who feel differently than our community. But this programming on Saturday reflects the values of our community."
The event garnered attention when conservative leaning Twitter page Libs of TikTok tweeted out about it. The tweet reached more than 800,000 people.
In a Twitter thread, the post goes on to include images from some of the books depicting gay sex scenes. In turn, people started spamming Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla and the library regarding the event.
Since then, Bhalla has released a statement saying the event is an expression of their commitment to support the LGBTQ community.
"These book bans are an unfortunate attempt to marginalize, degrade, and silence those like our valued LGBTQIA+ communities, and sweep under the rug critical topics including race and racism that are discussed in many of these books,” Bhalla tweeted.
Bhalla says he will read at the event Saturday along with others who will read age-appropriate books. The board president also stated the books that will be read will not include any instances of sexual acts.
Hoboken library’s “banned books read-a-thon” event is set for 11 a.m.


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